Place: 4274 Chamberlin (Refreshments will be served)
Speaker: Sigurd Angenent, UW Department of Mathematics
Abstract: From the article, Robustness, and the ability to function and thrive amid changing and unfavorable environments, is a fundamental requirement for living systems. Until now it has been an open question how large and complex biological networks can exhibit robust behaviors, such as perfect adaptation to a variable stimulus, since complexity is generally associated with fragility. Here we report that all networks that exhibit robust perfect adaptation (RPA) to a persistent change in stimulus are decomposable into well-defined modules, of which there exist two distinct classes. These two modular classes represent a topological basis for all RPA-capable networks, and generate the full set of topological realizations of the internal model principle for RPA in complex, self-organizing, evolvable bionetworks. This unexpected result supports the notion that evolutionary processes are empowered by simple and scalable modular design principles that promote robust performance no matter how large or complex the underlying networks become.